Contact: Sean Cooley, Communications Manager, 850-999-1030, 

MIAMI (October 12, 2017) - Audubon commends the South Florida Water Management District for spearheading elements of the Central Everglades Planning Project years ahead of the current schedule. The District announced today it would fast-track the construction of critical improvements to the S-333 pump station and removal of the old Tamiami Trail.   

"By moving ahead on critical components of the Central Everglades Planning Project, the District is recognizing the central role of Everglades restoration as a response to Hurricane Irma," said Celeste De Palma, Everglades Policy Associate for Audubon Florida. "The District assessed the impacts of the storm and effectively targeted key projects that will prepare South Florida to better deal with future storms. Increasing the capacity of the S-333 pump station will provide greater flexibility to move water around the system in advance of incoming storms, increase southern flows to hydrate Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, and provide relief to the tree islands in the Water Conservation Areas affected by high water levels."

The District will begin work on the project using existing funding. Earlier this month, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) legislative budget request included additional funds for constructing the S-333 pump station element of the Central Everglades Planning Project. DEP’s recommended budget totaled $305.8 million for Everglades restoration, making it the largest single request for funding for the Everglades in the agency’s history.

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